ffj's early retirement

Where are you and where are you going?
ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:32 pm

Day 3. I'm tired. Should finish tomorrow.

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Here is what is keeping me from plummeting to my death, roof jacks held by a single 16 penny nail. ;) I'm not the smartest guy.

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She looks disjointed, but we're close to finishing.

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@Jason

We keep joking that we had better not lean on the damn thing because we'll have to fix it. But more importantly, that fence is keeping a very large dog on its property. It's as large as a great dane but it looks like a labrador and it doesn't like us so that fence is very important right now. But yeah, I've seen better work, even by drunk standards. :D

Jason
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Jason » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:26 pm

Making real progress there.

And if you need to borrow a ladder, let me know.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:17 pm

Day 4 and done. I told the guy I helped build this with that I was done with working all week and that for future projects I would be available for 1 or 2 day jobs and that's it. I made good money on this but that's 4 days of my life gone for money I frankly don't need. And having to drive in rush hour traffic to get to work absolutely sucked. The building turned out nice though.

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cmonkey
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by cmonkey » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:25 am

ffj wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:17 pm
And having to drive in rush hour traffic to get to work absolutely sucked.
There is some value in this though, because when you jump back in from time to time you realize just how good you have it. :) That's how my last 2 weeks at my last job were anyway, jumping from commute-less work back to commuting again made me realize just how good working from home really is.

Good looking shed!!

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:58 pm

@monkey
I spent 12 hours a day either getting ready to work, getting to work, working, and then getting back home, filthy and tired. An hour to eat and shower, some internet time, and then off to bed. I had forgotten how shitty a life that had been in past days, and absolutely it is a good reality check on my privileged life.

The guy I worked with is older and can't lift or bend like he used to, so I was the heavy lifter in this project at the young age of 49! :D I had to remind him I wasn't that young either but when you are 64 I guess 49 looks pretty damn good. Plus the humidity has been crazy this week hovering between 53% and 96%. I felt as if I was working in a sauna; when a breeze occasionally hit you it felt like a gift from God himself.

Enough complaining though, the homeowner was very happy with the result and we were too. Thanks for the compliment. I sometimes feel others think I'm fishing for them but I'm really not. Like you, I want to show how these things work and not to be intimidated by the task at hand. It's all a logical step-by-step process.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:15 pm

The pear wine is about done. I racked it earlier today after taking a specific gravity reading and I'm at a nice .998. I'm going to let it sit for another week to clarify some more and then bottle it. I was pleasantly surprised that it tasted like wine and not pear cider or perry and I enjoyed the taste as it isn't too dry. Either I'm getting really lucky or I don't know enough to know that it actually sucks, haha. Hope my grapes turn out good too.

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ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:57 am

Who says you have to stop gardening in the fall? On a lark, I purchased this Aerogarden off of craigslist a couple of weeks ago and it's been pretty fun so far. Surprisingly, this particular model retails for $150 new but I gave the guy selling it $60 and I thought I was overpaying to be honest. It's very lightly made entirely out of plastic and I wasn't sure it would work or not. But here is the result after a week:

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I've planted tomato, lettuce, and kale. We joke to everybody who's seen it we're growing dope, which honestly it would would probably work well for. ;) I think I'll stick to alcohol as my drug of choice however.

It utilized LED lights and is very bright. No need for kitchen lights when this thing is on.

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It's hydroponic with a built in pump and three-quart reservoir so I literally have done nothing other than plug it in, fill it with water and liquid nutrients, and plant the seeds.

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We'll eat the lettuce and kale but I think the tomatoes are going to be sacrificed in the name of experimentation. This should be a great seed starter for the Spring and I would imagine I could rig this up to start more seedlings at a time. I'm excited about the possibilities.

Jason
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Jason » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:14 pm

When I look at that house I get more of a "In Cold Blood" than "The Shining" vibe.

Nice porch.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:20 pm

@Jason
Once again, I have no idea what you are talking about but I'm happy you are part of my journal, if only to remind me I'm not as smart as I think I am. :D

My buddy called me up today to help install the cupola we built a few weeks ago. The process of getting it up 30 plus feet in the air without killing ourselves was interesting to say the least. We only dropped one piece but we were able to fix it so it doesn't count. haha

We first mounted the base. He installed solar powered lights inside so I hope it lights up nicely tonight.

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Then the roof and weather vane. This is what about did us in as it was very heavy and very awkward to lift. My rope skills came to the rescue however and aside from a small mishap early on, we got it in place.

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I don't know if it is perfectly proportional to the barn, but as we completely winged the dimensions in building it, I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

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Thought I would share an update on the remodel. It is going very slow but I completed the crown molding and window trim this week. I am very close to putting in the floor at this point.

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Jason
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Jason » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:52 am

ffj wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:20 pm
@Jason
Once again, I have no idea what you are talking about but I'm happy you are part of my journal, if only to remind me I'm not as smart as I think I am. :D
It's fine. I'm just a poor man's version of Dennis Miller, which I'm assuming you don't understand either.

But with regards to smarts, you're the guy getting up this morning doing all types of interesting things and I'm the one dragging myself to work. So I'm not exactly agreeing with that statement.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:24 am

@Jason

The buddy I helped is still employed as a firefighter from where I retired, so I got to catch up on all of the latest bullshit and gossip. It's amusing when you don't have to live the drama, but man am I glad I checked out early. Overall it is a good job but a thousand little cuts undermine it everyday from lack of sleep, co-workers going through family drama, the same runs over and over, the politics, and gross shit we have to experience.

Plus it can bring out the homicidal instincts out: When you get called out 30 minutes before your shift change for Steve who's decided to drink a half gallon of vodka, which causes you to work overtime because of the trip to the hospital and you've been up for 27 hours straight, thoughts of snuffing out Steve's life creep into your head. ;)

Note that names have not been changed to protect privacy, Steve's a shithead, along with his alcoholic naked roommate the Judge. :D

Jason
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Jason » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:56 am

I have often struggled with the definition of work. Your post brings up the issues such as gossip and moral dilemmas and I can’t believe this is what I did today.

I like to read - can that be rationalized as I am working on the cultivation of my mind.

Stuff like that.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:14 pm

Progress. Finished the floor today which leaves trimming out the doors and putting in the baseboard. Then the fireplace and I'm done.

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The aero garden is working well. I should be eating lettuce in a couple of weeks at this rate.

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ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:54 am

This is my favorite time of year. A short hike yesterday.

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I love this water splash thing.

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A couple of beauties.

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Anybody know what these are? It's Fall in Kentucky.

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IlliniDave
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:39 am

Looks like osage orange, maybe.

Dave
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Location: Chicago, IL

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Dave » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:47 pm

Agreed with IDave - they look like hedge apples/osage oranges.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:47 pm

You guys are right. It was more of a rhetorical question really as they are so iconic to this region in the fall. With the falling leaves come the falling hedge apples. :) Thanks for the input gentlemen.

Dave
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Location: Chicago, IL

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Dave » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:31 am

Ah, in my excitement over the beauty of your fall pictures I missed the rhetorical nature of your question :) . I grew up in that region, too, and very much enjoy your pictures. I live in the big city now, and although fall here is nice in a different way, there is a special place in my heart for that part of the world.

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cmonkey
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by cmonkey » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:01 am

Haha hedge apples. We have a bunch out back and my MIL always brings a bunch back to MN with her because all the old ladies NEED them to keep spiders away.

They sell for like 4-5 bucks each in stores around here, despite being completely useless as anything other than a really AWESOME looking fruit.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:53 am

@monkey

They're just a bunch of ankle-turners around here. Cows and horses won't touch them and come to think of it, I've never seen any animal attempt to eat them.

We once had a new recruit that we convinced that hedge apples tasted like apple pie when baked like one. That joke was fun while it lasted, but he caught on eventually. ha

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:05 pm

O.K., it's been a month and I'm ready to start eating some of my lettuce. The kale is a little spartan, but the tomatoes and lettuce have done wonderfully.

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I also decided to transplant the tomatoes. I'm curious as to how they will react to being placed in soil after the hydroponics. I don't know how much longer I want to try to keep these guys alive as it is almost November, but right now they look great.

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SavingWithBabies
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by SavingWithBabies » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:25 pm

Looks good! I had one of these for a little while (from resale store). I concluded good for herbs that I would cut/prune for use or to keep them small enough to stay under the lights. I gave it away when I relocated long distance so didn't try out the herb idea.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:05 am

@Saving

Yeah I'm surprised at how well this thing has worked. I'll be starting all of my tomato and pepper plants in the spring for sure this time. I may try some herbs next as well as rooting offshoots. What is neat is that I don't have to wait until March to try these things out.

Here is the nutrient I'm using. Everything on the Aerogarden site and Amazon too is marked up greatly in price. I've gotten all of my seeds for half-price at a local store and this nutrient off of Amazon for half the price Aerogarden wants to charge. You can see the results.

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ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:08 am

So how many shades of fire engine red do you think there are? At this particular manufacturer 157 so far! They've also got about 60 shades of yellow which is a travesty as everybody knows all fire trucks should be red. :lol:

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Some of you may remember that I have been assisting with designing a new ladder truck for one of the departments I still work with. We finalized the specs after 3 days of going over every detail imaginable. There is a lot of customization that is available and as we toured the manufacturing plant we saw many examples of where other departments chose different details. Very interesting overall.

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Here is gold scrap from all of the gold lettering the they do. The gentleman told us the last time they recycled the waste it was worth $58,000. These artists were impressive.

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I've had a lot of fun the past few days.

Here's some examples of logos across the United States:

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halfmoon
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by halfmoon » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:01 am

ffj, I just caught up on a couple of months' worth of your journal. Impressive and fascinating! Fire trucks excepted*, this is pretty much a journal of our interests. :D Never hesitate to share your project details, because they're inspiring.

What a great stone wall. Is it yours?

*The fire trucks are very pretty, though.

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